Tea Cups : Manipur Black Pottery
- North East Region has always been a very difficult region to access and the unique traditions of the region has not reached other parts of the country for a very long time.
- Due to the terrain and immense forest cover, the communities were extremely adaptable and use available material which has become an integral part of their traditions.
- The black pottery is a traditional cookware of the NE region and have been part of many traditional homes for generations.
- The technique of this art is said to be handed down from the Neolithic period. A unique feature of this craft is that it is crafted without a potter’s wheel.
- It is made out of crushed Serpentinite and Weathered rocks (from the Longpi region) which are powdered in a wooden and bamboo vessel & mixed with water to make clay.
- The clay is moulded to pots and pan shape and then put to the kiln at 900 degrees celsius. When the pots and pans are ready, they are rubbed with the Machee leaf which renders the cookware black.
- The stone pottery of Manipur is not only aesthetically appealing but also boasts of several interesting benefits:
- Weathered rock contains naturally occurring Iron which in turn provides iron supplements to the food cooked in it.
- Cooking in this prevents morning sickness for pregnant women.
- Food cooked in it sizzles for a long time after it is taken off the stove and the cookware ensures that the food remains warm for long, this results in lesser nutrition loss while reheating food.
- They can be used directly for cooking on gas and microwave.
- While the pots are excellent for high and low flame cooking, they are particularly known for their property for cooking food for hours without burning it.
- They are pre-treated and can be used directly on gas stove or microwave oven
- The pots without the canes can be used in Oven. Do not use pots with canes in the oven.
- Wash them normally with regular dish washing liquid. Avoid steel scrubber.
- Do not soak the tea cups in water for long.
- They are breakable products: Please handle with care!
- The black colour is derived from the treatment given to the baked cookware using Chirona/ Machee Leaves. The base stone colour is reddish black and with usage, spotting of red colour of base rock happens.
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